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GP placements have been cancelled during the pandemic. If you’re thinking about work experience for 2022 entry and beyond, it may be possible to arrange a GP placement. Here’s what you need to know.

How Do I Get A GP Placement?

Many people have a close relationship with their local GP – but for confidentiality reasons, you cannot do work experience with your local GP. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask them for help, though. They may have ties with another practice that will welcome you for a placement.

Alternatively, you could call and e-mail as many GPs as possible within your area. You could also seek help from the careers advisor at your school and get in touch with the education department at your local NHS Trust.

Be clear, polite and flexible to increase your chances of securing a placement.

GP Placements Cancelled

GP placements have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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What Will I Learn From A GP Placement?

Primary healthcare is a unique setting, where aspiring medics will see a multitude of key skills in action. During a General Practice placement you could observe:

  • How GPs skillfully extract key information from patients in a timely manner
  • How GPs identify potentially serious symptoms and escalate these, when appropriate, to a secondary healthcare setting
  • How the practice works as a unified team. Sit in on reception or the emergency line and witness how essential teamwork really is in Medicine
  • How vital a role GPs have in educating their patients on their health, and how to manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes

How Do I Make The Most Of My GP Placement?

The best way to make the most of your GP placement is to keep a log of what you see. We know how easy it is to forget an interesting consultation after a hard week!

At the end of every GP session that you witness, make a quick bullet point list that you can expand on when you get back home. Don’t forget to ask the Doctor why they did certain things.

If you have seen an interesting condition, read up on it. Look at some research papers and cite them in your reflections.

During your GP Placement, compare and contrast what you see against any hospital-based work experience you may have had. Understand how GP and hospital settings differ, as well as how they work together effectively.

Taking comprehensive notes will make it easier to mention your GP placement in your Personal Statement – and will help you remember your experiences while you’re preparing for your interviews.

GP Placement Alternatives

If you can’t secure a GP placement, you could consider some work experience alternatives such as:

Don’t panic if you can’t get a GP placement. Med School work experience requirements have been eased to reflect the fact that COVID-19 has stopped most placements.

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